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ANHRI condemns interrogation of author

(ANHRI/IFEX) - Cairo, 6 December 2011 - ANHRI condemns the interrogation of George Al-Alam, author of "Al-Masara" (The Mill), at the Criminal Investigations station in Beirut. The investigation regards a book he published about his torturous experience at the Ministry of Defense prison, where he was imprisoned for two and a half years because of his political activity at the time. The Lebanese Ministry of Defense had filed a complaint against Al-Alam. Neither Al-Alam nor his lawyers know the exact charges brought against him.

It is worth noting that the book in question has been publicly available in the markets for a year and a half. The author has organized several events celebrating the book, and several rights organizations have even adopted the book. His interrogation lasted for four hours today, and he was asked to return the next day.

"I write so the truth does not get lost, and so history does not get rigged, turning the victim into a convict and the executioner into a victim," said Al-Alam in one of his book signing celebrations.

"It is shameful that an author is investigated for publishing his painful experience with torture inside the prison, where he was tortured rather than tried. The author stated violations that he indeed was subjected to, backed with documentations and pictures. The authorities should take the matter seriously and launch an investigation against the perpetrators, rather than the victim," said ANHRI.

ANHRI calls on the Lebanese authorities to put an end to the investigation of George Al-Alam, and to respect freedom of opinion and expression as inalienable human rights. ANHRI also calls for an investigation into the torture incidents that the book relates, noting that the statute of limitations does not apply to torture.

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